Lisa Bjorkman Trip Leader

“During my first summer at Northwaters it rained for seventeen of our twenty-four days on the trail. After a few days of pulling on wet jeans and my soggy Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, I began to wonder if canoeing was my thing. Yet I remember one particularly puddly morning quite vividly as a turning point for me: one of my tent-mates, tugging on her own sodden socks in the (relative) dryness of our tent, turned to me with a deadpan expression and proclaimed, “it’s probably about to stop.” A moment passed and we burst out laughing, struck by the absurdity of our shared predicament as well as relieved by the realization that neither of us would be alone in facing what promised to be a very challenging day. The sound of our laughter, needless to say, overpowered the ominous pitter-pat of the rain outside. In the backcountry, I discovered an ability to laugh – and to seek out the laughter of others – in the face of adversity; this gift has served me in more ways than I might count. These days I spend a lot of time in Mumbai, researching and writing about water and politics. While this has meant that I spend fewer of my summer months canoeing, I still point my compass north whenever I get a chance.”